Artist Statement: The Performance of Self

I believe that self is a performance and that notions of self are developed in direct relationship to the images and information provided to us via the media, religion & our respective peer groups and families. 

Conceptual and representational portrait photography sits at the center of my practice, but painting, performance, video, the spoken/written word, and installation are additional outputs.

My work often explores the relationship between societal discourse, pop-culture, subculture, and the individual. With influences as diverse as advertising, ministry and social media, new insights are manufactured from both orderly and random dialogues. 

I am interested in exploring & examining the power of fine art, marketing and technology to inform the development & performance of self. 


Ricky Day is a Harlem, New York based photographer, filmmaker, media  personality working primarily with themes related to identity, pop-culture and the AfricanAmerican experience. His recent work includes; the 2021 and 2022 Pride campaigns for Emil Wilbekin’s Native Son which he conceived and shot, portraits including the front and back covers for Ty Hunter’s memoir “Makeover from Within,” and editorial cover stories for Ambassador Magazine and Swerv Magazine respectively.

Current and past clients include: The Met Museum, Van Wyck & Company, Google, YouTube, Interscope Records, Stylist and designer, Ty Hunter; author and CNN commentator, Keith Boykin; journalist and Native Son founder, Emil Wilbekin, media personality and author, Bevy Smith, Proctor and Gamble, Nivea, Google, Ford Models, PMK-BNC, Ford Models, Click Models, MBK Entertainment, and Interscope Records to name a few.

Ricky served as the firstever artist in residence for Art Crawl Harlem on Governor’s Island in New YorkCity. In 2023 Ricky was selected as the Juror’s Award-winning photographer for “Portrait– Self and Others” curated by Aline Smithson and “Parenthood” curated by Rebecca Senf at Photo Place Gallery in Vermont. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group shows in America and abroad including: “Fire and Soul: 100 Yearsof Harlem” at Kente Royale Gallery; New York; ”Black Art Matters“ at Maag Hallin Zurich; “Masterpiece” at Band of Vices in Los Angeles.  Ricky has also exhibited in group shows atLeslie Lohman Museum and Leslie Lohman Project Space, Umbrella Arts, and RushArts and solo exhibitions include; “Brother Outsider Won’t You Come Inside” and“Introducing Ricky Day.”

Ricky is also a graduate of NY Theological Seminary where he earned a certificate in Christian Ministry and Leadership in 2021 the host of the engaging and inspiring weekly podcast, Nothing to Lose but Yourself which is available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.Ricky brings creativity, integrity, and an infectiously positive and calming spirit to his work and interactions with his subjects. To shoot with him is an experience in and of itself.

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